Last week, Thomasi McDonald wrote about workers at a Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers in Durham striking after learning an employee had tested positive for coronavirus. Frustrated by low pay during the pandemic, these essential workers demanded a $15 an hour living wage.

Some of our readers had thoughts:

“We need to be able to unionize,” wrote Facebook user Rocky Davis. “The state has no right to tell us we can’t.”

“If you pay them what they are worth most would be worth $2 a hour,” Betty Williams opined. “Pay the good ones the $15.”

“I’m glad you’ve mastered the ability to judge a person’s worth based on how you got your burger, Karen,” replied Roy Pine

“The fast food restaurants should pay $15 a hour and then deduct money every time your order is incorrect. Durham has the worst fast food workers in the state of NC,” Jason Williams wrote.

“You’re literally saying that these people don’t deserve to making a living wage because your cheap food wasn’t perfect. Maybe you can cook for yourself next time?” Amanda Lee Morris replied. 

“High paid, less skilled fast food workers means cheap fast food isn’t available and people complain about $20 for a burger and fries and say only middle income can afford fast food. You increase the pay of construction workers and the cost of housing goes up and people complain that you are trying to gentrify the area. You will never have anything if you don’t work your ass off for it and your not going to get it sitting in the grass beating a drum,” Jason Williams responded.

“You keep moving the goalposts. Your initial post seemed to indicate that you thought they should be paid $15 and then deducted for mistakes, meaning that you think excellent employees should be paid well, and thus you wouldn’t cry about an “expensive” hamburger if it was delivered to you perfectly and that your whole beef (pun intended) was quality of service,” replied Pine. “Or am I reading too much into it, and you’re just another mediocre white guy looking to find something to bitch about so you can feel smug and superior?”

Comment on this story at

Support independent local journalism. Join the INDY Press Club to help us keep fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle.